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    Studies & Developments – Interview with Yannos IOANNIDES

    Comptoir Immovilier
    September 1, 2013

    Yannos IOANNIDES, Director of Studies & Developments


    What has been your background?

    Residing in Geneva since my early childhood, my schooling concluded with a scientific maturity followed by a diploma in architecture delivered by the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. I began my career in an architectural office in Carouge with whom we shared the design and architectural direction of the Allobroges school, following an architectural competition that we won. Then I worked for 7 years for a Geneva-based real estate company as a rental management manager and then as a human resources manager. In 2005, I joined the COMPTOIR IMMOBILIER to develop the Studies & Developments (E&D) division.

    How would you summarize the approach of the Study & Developments division in a few words?

    It is about intervening in the development of a real estate heritage, but for our part, in a broader perspective, beyond a single technical project design. We are convinced that a heritage can only gain value if, at its genesis, its economic, architectural, environmental and social value is thought of as an inseparable whole. We do not consider the act of building to be trivial, and as such, the issues of sustainable development cannot be overlooked. Specialized sciences (technical and financial) are at the service of the project and not the other way around. The details make the difference. A quote by Mies Van der Rohe perfectly sums up our philosophy “Architecture begins when two bricks are carefully put together”.

    How is this division organized?

    Organized horizontally, the E&D division consists of a team of 10 people, including 7 project managers, coming from different backgrounds: lawyers, works managers, civil engineers etc. Their varied professional backgrounds offer a plurality of skills that enriches the team’s know-how and contributes to our broader vision of the act of building.

    What services are offered?

    We accompany both private investors and public authorities and intervene at different stages of a real estate project of urbanism or architecture:

    • Advice on the development of assets: this can be a one-off advisory service linked to a particular real estate investment, such as the purchase of land. We also carry out real estate asset assessments and study their potential for value enhancement.
    • Accompanying the investor upstream of a development: we propose or coordinate feasibility studies of urbanization projects with regard to existing requirements and regulations, in coordination with municipal or cantonal authorities.
    • Project management, assistance or representation of the project owner: we act in the name and on behalf of investors at every stage of the project, from the establishment of the framework conditions to the delivery of the building. We advise our clients in the selection of service providers and act as a conductor during the entire project development process.
    • Built heritage enhancement: we intervene on built ensembles to study and propose extensions, heightening or transformations in line with the new regulations in force and the demands of the property market.

    Can you outline some of the current projects?

    The E&D division is piloting nearly 2 billion projects under development spread across the Lake Geneva region as far as Valais. We are involved in a wide range of projects: from the conversion of the attic of a 19th century apartment building to the development of neighbourhood plans such as the Communaux d’Ambilly in Geneva, which provides 150,000 m2 of floor space and 1,200 housing units and shops. Let’s also mention the Cour de gare project which will allow for the creation of 65,000 m2 of floor space in the heart of the city of Sion with multiple uses: commercial areas, housing, offices, hotel, parking, auditorium…


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